Video games are still often seen as a frivolous pastime and the domain of kids. But did you realise they can and are being used for serious applications by businesses all over the world? Helping them not only accomplish a multitude of goals, but accomplish them more effectively. So the big question is, are you using games in your business and if not, why not?
Games can be used to make training fun, help you engage with customers and clients (past, present and future), increase productivity and more. With options of deploying online, on mobile devices, via PC hardware and more. I've written this article to highlight and give you a flavour of the top 5 ways your business can start using games.
1) Marketing, Advertising & PR
In the offline world, traditional advertising methods are still the go-to way to get the word out about your company. Online, Pay-Per-Click advertising is still the number one method of generating highly targeted traffic. But, what happens after people find you? How do you go about keeping visitors engaged on your business website, as well as giving them a reason to return.
Content marketing is really gaining more traction than ever in the online world. It essential serves two main purposes, providing "sticky" content to keep visitors engaged on your website and helping promote your website and business by getting links and social shares that ultimately drive traffic.
Getting natural links and social shares is more important than ever to any company looking to get more exposure online. When most businesses think about a premium piece of content to help their SEO and PR, they think video. But what many don't realise is there's a much more engaging alternative available to businesses for a comparable production cost.
The problem with video is it's only ever a passive medium, your audience doesn't really participate. This can make scope for re-engagement limited - once they've seen a video, it's unlikely to offer anything new on repeat views. Then there's the problem of so many businesses using video now that it's become increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Despite the fact they've been around for at least a decade and their use is growing, branded games used for marketing are still only being used by a minute percentage of companies. Unlike video, they're interactive, so the viewer directly participates. They also offer an incentive to go back for repeat plays (beat that high score, complete that level, etc.), so overcome most of the drawbacks of corporate videos.
2) Business Promotions
When most people think business promotions, seasonal or otherwise, they think traditional physical promotional items and corporate gifts. Printed T-shirts, pens, mugs, corporate greetings cards and the like. Although they serve their purpose, are these really helping your business stand out in a crowded marketplace?
When sent out to customers and clients past, present and (hopefully) future, an interactive promotional game can really help your company stand out and add the wow factor to your business promotions.
3) Employee Training
Whether it's learning basic business practices or complex internal systems in the workplace, employee training isn't usually the most exciting of things. Serious games and simulations provide a unique way to break through that and make corporate training fun, providing a truly engaging medium to get the information across and help it sink in.
4) Staff Rewards to Boost Morale in the Workplace
It's been proven time and time again, a happy staff is a productive staff. If you want to go the extra mile in injecting a bit of fun into the workplace, creating a branded game for employees to play can be a great reward around Christmas time, any other significant occasion, or just for no reason at all.
It can live on your company intranet (behind an employee login), up on the web (to play outside the workplace), or even make a great, fun addition to your break area.
5) Exhibitions and Live Events
If you're the kind of business that exhibits at a lot of trade shows or use live events and experiential marketing to promote your products and services, you've probably tried to come up with ideas of how to stand out and draw a crowd.
A game on your exhibition stand could very well be the solution - providing an enjoyable, free experience and encouraging competition over the course of the event with a high score board. Plus, you can use it at multiple events to maximise the benefit for your business and make sure you get your money's worth.